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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

23 years after displacement, Bru refugees’ resettlement in Tripura begins

The resettlement was held as part of the quadripartite agreement signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram governments and the Bru leaders in January last year to provide over 32,000 Brus permanent resettlement in Tripura.

Agartala |
Updated: April 20, 2021 5:41:20 pm
lok sabha elections, lok sabha elections 2019, lok sabha polls, mizoram elections, elections in mizoram, vote, voters, bru voters, polling stations, kanhum, kanhum village, mizoram border, ashish kundra, chief electoral officer, indian express newsThe displaced Bru came from Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of neighbouring Mizoram, fleeing ethnic clashes in 1997. (File)

Over 400 Bru families left the rehabilitation camp for their permanent settlement at two selected places in Tripura on Monday, officials said here Tuesday.

The resettlement was held as part of the quadripartite agreement signed between the Centre, Tripura and Mizoram governments and the Bru leaders in January last year to provide over 32,000 Brus permanent resettlement in Tripura who have been staying at six relief camps in the North district since October 1997.

The Centre had also announced Rs 600 crore resettlement package for the migrants in January last year.

“A total of 426 Bru families have left the relief camps for their settlement in two locations – one at Haduklau of Ambassa and another at Bongofapara of Longtrai Valley sub divisions in the first batch. We are expecting resettlement of the second batch on Thursday,” Kanchanpur sub-divisional magistrate Chandni Chandran told reporters this afternoon.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Tweeted about the relocation saying, “I’m happy that Tripura has implemented one more dream of PM Shri @narendramodi within stipulated time. Resettlement of Bru migrants, living displaced lives since 23 years in Tripura, has started today with granting permanent address at Dhalai district to 426 Bru families from Kanchanpur.”

Twenty-three years after ethnic clashes in Mizoram forced 37,000 people of the Bru (or Reang) community to flee their homes to neighbouring Tripura, an agreement was signed in January, 2020 to allow 32,000 of them remaining in the camps after nine phases of repatriation to permanently settle in Tripura. The royal scion Pradyot Manikya Debbarma was instrumental in engineering the resettlement deal with central government and state governments of Tripura and Mizoram.

Of these people, 202 migrant families relocated to Bongofapara while the rest 224 families went to Hadukololpara to stay temporarily in the newly-built makeshift houses as permanent residents of the state.

The state administration has made arrangements for them, including ration and water, a senior official informed. As part of the relocation process, Tripura has identified 15 locations for Bru resettlement and completed Aadhar enrollment of the Brus.

Earlier, a group of local ethnic organisations protested against the resettlement plan and resorted to several agitations, including a few violent protests, in which two persons were killed and 20 others injured in North Tripura last year.

The displaced Bru came from Mamit, Kolasib and Lunglei districts of neighbouring Mizoram, fleeing ethnic clashes in 1997. Over 5,000 of them were repatriated in nine phases since 2009, while almost the same number from other areas of Mizoram fled to Tripura due to fresh clashes within this time frame.

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